FC Kansas City announced the re-signing of four players Wednesday including midfielder Jen Buczkowski who was widely expected to retire. Buczkowski is the only player never to miss an NWSL match across three seasons and has helped the Blues reach the playoffs all three years, the last two ending in championships.
“I’m really excited to have signed again with FC Kansas City for my fourth year,” Buczkowski said in a club release. “There is no club I’d rather be a part of. The entire organization as a whole has built a strong foundation for successful women’s soccer. I am proud to call Kansas City my home.”
FC Kansas City also inked Mandy Laddish, Frances Silva, and Erika Tymrak to contracts for the 2016 season.
“I can’t wait to be back in Kansas City,” Tymrak said. “It has become my second home and the city and organization have been so good to me.”
Buczkowski is a stalwart in defensive midfield whether holding down the position alone or playing it in tandem. She hinted before the 2015 season that it could be her last, and even as FC Kansas City celebrated their championship last month, the 29-year-old said she was unsure about the future.
In the last seven seasons, Buczkowski’s teams have been in the playoffs every time, reaching six finals with three wins. The run began in 2009 when she was a bench player for Sky Blue FC that got the call to start in central defense during the playoffs when Anita Asante got called away for the European Championships. Buczkowski earned rave reviews for her play especially in the final.
The 2009 playoff performance earned her the eye of Paul Riley who made her the Philadelphia Independence’s first pick in the WPS expansion draft. In two seasons the Independence reached the final both times, losing each one. She was also on the losing end of the 2012 WPSL Elite final while playing for the Chicago Red Stars. In Kansas City, the club lost in the semifinals in 2013 before winning the last two NWSL Championships.
“We are very excited to have these players sign new contracts ahead of the upcoming season and to have them sustain and enhance our club culture,” FC Kansas City general manager and director of soccer operations Huw Williams said.
While Buczkowski will return for a fourth season in Kansas City, the club will be without Lauren Holiday and Leigh Ann Brown (nee Robinson), both of whom announced their retirements from soccer earlier this year.
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